November 2, 2022

Lecture will explore roles of women in cults during Hellenistic, Roman periods

Dr. Lindsey Mazurek

Lindsey Mazurek

Lindsey Mazurek, assistant professor in the Department of Classical Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, will give the lecture, “Women In the Cults of Isis: Patrons, Symbols and Pariahs,” at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 7 in Richards Hall, room 15.

The lecture is part of the lecture series of the Archaeological Institute of America, Lincoln-Omaha Society

Mazurek’s research focuses on issues of race, ethnicity, identity, change and materiality in the Roman Empire. In her lecture she will explore the role of women cults in the Roman Empire.

From neopagans to feminists, many today think of Isis as a goddess of and for women. Given that Isis was a patron of childbirth and marriage, two activities closely associated with women in antiquity, this assumption is not entirely off the mark. Women also appear frequently in artistic depictions of the Isis cult, from wall paintings at Pompeii to gravestones in Athens. But women were largely excluded from priesthoods and other positions of power and were marginalized further through cult regulations.

Mazurek brings together literary, epigraphic and artistic evidence to examine the roles of women and femininity in Egyptian cults during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. This evidence paints a complex and dynamic portrait of the female experience of Egyptian religion, which relied on women to communicate its ideals to a broad audience while denying them power and status.